Technology Brand Strategy Data & Privacy

Joining the dots of online & offline touchpoints with human movement data

By Michael Nutley | Writer for The Drum

October 26, 2022 | 8 min read

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Omnichannel marketing has always been a great idea, but it’s only ever half-worked at best. You can certainly join up all the online touchpoints of a customer’s journey to deliver – and measure – personalized, relevant, coherent messaging. Step out of the online world, though, and you step into the dark. Until now.

First-party data brings true omnichannel marketing a step closer

Marketers need to think about connecting the dots of their online and offline activity

The combination of addressable digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising and opt-in first-party data from mobile phones is opening up the next layer of omnichannel marketing. It’s allowing brands to capture audiences that have been exposed to outdoor advertising and retarget them online. Conversely, they can also use digital screens to contact online shoppers when they go in-store to complete their purchase.

This is one of the key takeaways from The Drum’s webinar How to Advance Your Digital Marketing Strategy With Human Movement Data, presented in partnership with data analytics company Near.

“There’s so much rich data that can be unlocked when we start to understand mobility data and footfall and website uplift based on DOOH exposures,” explains Emmalee Crellin, senior data strategist ANZ, Yahoo.

Digital out-of-home leaves its silo

DOOH has stayed siloed since its introduction because it’s unlike the rest of the online world. It’s not one person/one screen. While that’s still the case, what’s changed is the technology around it, as Near’s general manager, marketing solutions, David Raitt explains.

“New technologies have become available that allow consumers to be targeted programmatically via DOOH,” he says. “But while there’s capability to deliver increased personalization in DOOH, that’s not the goal of the major brands. What they really need is critical mass and scale, so it’s not about targeting you as an individual, it’s about targeting a group of people who live like you.”

Raitt stresses that Near’s capability in this space is all based on anonymized data from opted-in individuals.

“We use data from people’s mobiles, hashed together and anonymized, to create a persistent graph that covers 16 million Australians and matches their behavior to 1.5 million places and over 2,000 brands. Advertisers can onboard their first-party data with us, then they have the ability to understand their consumer behavior, overlay that with their target audience, and start to create segments and audience solutions that talk to them at the moments that matter most.”

Changing attitudes to data

As Raitt’s comment suggests, the other part of this puzzle is changing attitudes towards data.

“Things are going to get harder and harder for marketers, because we’ve lived on a diet of cookies for 25 years, ensuring we can deliver personalized advertising and everything that comes with it,” he says. “On top of that, the changes coming from the big platforms, particularly Apple, mean marketers are working with less data.”

The solution, he believes, is for brands to make more use of first-party data. That includes creating their own data lakes; using their own first-party data to help them understand their customers’ behavior in a cookieless environment; developing a single view of those customers with their own persistent graph; and offering personalized experience across multiple touchpoints, at scale.

“There are four verticals that are ahead in this: retail, travel, restaurants and real estate,” he says. “They’ve had to innovate because they’re in highly competitive categories.”

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Growth opportunities for everyone

Raitt is also optimistic for other sectors.

“It’s not a case of data haves and have-nots,” he says. “We’re seeing a ton of growth from brands using their first-party data to build better outcomes.

“It’s been popular for 10 to 15 years for brands to onboard their CRM data and create personalized email outreach. Now we’re starting to see brands create even more personalization through the publishers they work with, the data vendors they work with, with regards to creating custom segmentation. And when a brand merges its data with that of a publisher in a privacy-first way, and the publisher then activates those audiences, we’re seeing ROIs that are 40% to 60% better then we’d seen before.”

Two views of what to do next

Raitt and Crellin cover a lot more ground in the webinar, from the way privacy regulation is developing to the need for the digital marketing industry to do a better job explaining the value exchange involved in online advertising.

In closing, Raitt suggests three questions marketers looking to move into the emerging world of first-party data should ask potential data suppliers or partners: “One, what scale do they give me? Two, what security do they have in their systems; what does consent mean to them? Three, the fundamentals of service and speed; do they deploy in days rather than weeks?”

In turn, Crellin takes the helicopter view.

“Marketers need to think about connecting the dots of their online and offline activity,” she says. “We’re reaching the point where we can track and measure what we’re doing in terms of real-world outcomes.”

Watch the full webinar – How to Advance Your Digital Marketing Strategy With Human Movement Data – presented by The Drum in partnership with Near, here.

Technology Brand Strategy Data & Privacy

Content created with:


Near, the global leader in privacy-led Data Intelligence, curates the world’s largest source of intelligence on People, Places, and Products. Near processes data from over 1.6 billion monthly users in 44 countries to empower Marketing and Operational Leaders to confidently reach, understand, and market to highly targeted audiences and optimize their business results. With offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Paris, Bangalore, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo, Near serves major brands in retail, real estate, travel, tourism, CPG, restaurants, technology, marketing, and other industries.

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